We are called to action. I love God and I long to obey Him but sometimes my idea of obeying Him is settling in for my quiet time, reading the Word, praying and then patting myself on the back for not having to confess anything too bad. Please understand that these are important in my walk with the Lord but if that’s all I do, I am not living my life for Him.
Let me give you a reality check. God has not called us to be comfortable. He has called us to work. He loves that we have been saved and while we cannot earn our way into heaven, He expects us to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and bear fruit. What do I mean by that? I mean our lives should reflect Him more and more everyday. If we are saved and don’t live our faith, we cheat ourselves, we cheat the church and most importantly, we cheat God out of the fruits we should be producing.
James talks about faith without works being dead and I see my friend, Rahab, appear here too. I did not plan that and in fact, confess that I did not know she was referenced in the book of James. Coincidence or divine intervention? Anyways, James writes: “ And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” – James 2:25-26
Don’t be overwhelmed by James, all he is saying is that if you claim to have faith but nothing in your life reflects Christ, you might want to reexamine your faith, because it’s not alive. “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17).
If Rahab had believed in God but didn’t help the Israelite messengers do you think we’d be talking about her? Do you think she would be mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy? I don’t think so. We know of her because of what she did (obeyed God), not who she is and that’s seen throughout the bible.
In 2:18, James says: “But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’” I read this to mean that we cannot separate our faith from our works or our works from our faith. They are yoked together. We are saved by faith alone however, our works are a result of our faith. It’s a cause and effect relationship. True faith shows through your actions. If you preach about Christ all day long but never show His character through your actions, you are hurting, not helping. If you’re kind and show His character but never say His name or point to God for the glory, you’re leaving them with half an image. We need both to grow and to help others be saved and grow in faith.
“This sounds nice but I am comfortable in my walk with Christ.” I understand but I am called to challenge you. He does not want us to be comfortable. If you are comfortable in your walk with the Lord, tell me how your prayer life is. Tell me how your faith is. Are you on fire for Him? Do you feel passionately about serving and pleasing Him or are you going through the motions and feeling “okay” or “good” about your faith. He wants us to be on fire and to be consumed with Him and His works. He wants us to care about the homeless, the broken, the abused, the hungry, etc. It should bother us.
It is when we leave our comfort zones that we grow and flourish. The times I have been closest to Him are when He’s pushed me out of the comfort zone/rut I’m in. And yes, you will have days where you’re going through the motions and that’s okay; it happens, but don’t let days turn into weeks turn into months and then years.
I learned that when He called me to action it was uncomfortable and scary and well, I’m not sure if you ever truly outgrow the concern of what others think but if you listen and obey, I’ve learned that these are also the times He’s blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I’m not necessarily talking tangible blessings, but a sense of contentment, amazing friendships, wonderful experiences, stronger faith etc. that I would have missed if I’d stayed in place.
I want to end with this thought from Paul in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
What actions are you taking? Does your life reflect your faith? What kind of topics are you interested in seeing in the future?